According to Ofsted, students living at Sparsholt College enjoy an Outstanding residential experience. The three day inspection, carried out in November 2015, found the College’s provision to be outstanding in all areas with ‘outcome for learners’, ‘quality of service’, safeguarding’ and ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’ all receiving the highest grade from the inspectors.
Parents speaking to Ofsted said: “The College is absolutely fantastic” and “It’s the best decision he ever made.” One commented that their son’s experience at the College is “a complete turnaround from hating and struggling at school.”
In the report, residential learners enjoy even higher success rates than their non-residential peers and benefit from close support providing every opportunity for students to complete and succeed in their studies. Collectively the report said: “students form a vibrant and lively group with a strong sense of community” which the inspectors noted “led to mutual support and a shared sense of working together.”
Ofsted also reported on the excellent relationships between residential learners and residential staff with two students saying: “The wardens are brilliant” and “I love it here.”
The ‘quality of service’ is described as Outstanding with praise for the well-structured induction package which “prepares students well to live at the College and the excellent pastoral arrangements supporting students to achieve their potential and to be ambitious about developing their knowledge, skills and confidence.” Residential learners reported to Ofsted that they enjoy life at the College and that they grow in confidence. “It’s the best decision he ever made” is a comment made by a parent regarding her son’s progress and enjoyment of life at Sparsholt.
Principal Tim Jackson said: “This is an excellent report from Ofsted which is testament to the outstanding work delivered by our residential team of wardens, tutors, senior residents and pastoral staff. Residential learners enjoy and thrive here and increase their knowledge, confidence and independence.“
The report described the leadership and management at Sparsholt as Outstanding with no complacency and an embedded culture of striving for excellence. The inspectors described the residential provision as a vibrant community with students acknowledging the positive impact living on site has had on their lives and helping them to be industry ready in their chosen fields.
The College has 300 students under the age of 18 and was praised for placing a high priority on the safety and security of learners and staff. Safeguarding is rated as Outstanding. The inspectors praised the clear behavioural standards noting that all residential learners are aware of what is expected of them. One parent reports that their son has “a greater tolerance of the world as a result of Sparsholt.”
To help a wider proportion of students access accommodation at Sparsholt there is a means-tested residential bursary scheme available to assist students who need to live at the College because daily travel is impractical.
A full copy of the report can be found at http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/CARE/SC061177